It doesn’t matter if you do landscaping or clean teeth, people are reading about your business on Yelp, and are deciding whether to purchase from you based on whether others have enjoyed doing so in the past. Positive Yelp reviews can send profits skyrocketing, while a couple of poor reviews can kill a solid product and business plan.
Most people don’t know that Yelp uses a complex algorithm to determine which comments will be shown on a business’ home page. The main issue with their selection process, however, is that the flagged reviews are still view-able to the public in a separate section. That means any person or competitor that wishes to post harmful and slanderous comments can do so and still have them show up somewhere on your business page. Furthermore, good comments are sometimes flagged and removed by mistake.
Odds are your business page will (or already has) received some undesirable comments on Yelp. After all, the internet has allowed anyone to say anything they want about providers, whether or not it is deserved.
So here are 3 steps straight from the Yelp team on how to handle the situation when it comes along:
1. Pay attention and respond. This will help you tremendously in two important ways. First, ask for feedback from your customers on how your product or service can improve, rather than just ignoring them. And second and even more importantly, responding will show customers that you are engaged and care about them.
2. Never take anything personally. Never give in to the urge to answer a nasty comment with your own clever vengeful retort. You are only pouring gasoline on the fire at that point. If you feel like the type of person who will struggle to keep emotion out of it, consider putting someone else in charge of your social media or internet presence. One lunatic customer can set you off in a way that can worsen the situation, so you must pretend as though they are standing right in front of you and speak to the reviewer as if people are watching. You have the right to flag the post if it violates the Yelp’s terms of service immediately and move on.
3. Always keep a friendly, professional tone in your response. Whenever you do choose to respond to a review or comment, just remember to be friendly and offer solutions whenever possible. Utilizing Yelp’s review response tools lets you choose whether you wish to respond to the reviewer publicly or privately. It’s not always best to respond publicly, but it can be a great way to demonstrate action, put to bed rumors, or give out free gifts to your customers. Use the tools available to you and your Yelp reviews will always stay consistent with the true quality of your business.